090627australianElection promise dumped as Grocery Choice goes – The Australian

Whetting the appetite with the absurd while farmers wonder where we’ll find our next meal – Tony Wright of the Melbourne Age goes to breakfast

‘I miss my mate Jacko’ – The Northern Territory News finds a local angle to the world’s biggest story

Uncertainty surrounds Jackson estateFinancial Times of London



Economic matters

36% tumble in household wealth – New estimates from the Bureau of Statistics put combined household wealth at just short of $787 billion at the end of March, down from a peak of $1246 billion in September 2007 – Melbourne Age

Why bank rate cuts don’t meet Reserve – The notion that the rates the banks charge always change exactly in line with changes in the official rate is a relatively recent one. It applied only between 1999 and 2007. It wasn’t true before then and it hasn’t been true since then. Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald explains why.

Rates and taxes

090627agelandtaxPressure to slash land tax – Melbourne Age reports Valuer-General Robert Marsh expects the median house price in metropolitan Melbourne to be down in the order of 10 to 15 per cent from the last valuation with all the indications pointing to the impact on commercial and industrial property having been greater than residential.

Rate rises outstrip inflation – Victorian households will pay, on average, $64 more in rates next financial year – more than double the inflation rate – as councils struggle to keep pace with costs – Melbourne Age

Water bills set to skyrocket – Victoria’s independent regulator yesterday approved price increases of between 51 and 64 per cent in household water bills – Melbourne Age

Property owners slugged an average $64 moreMelbourne Herald Sun

Grocery prices


Labor breaks promise on cheaper groceries – The Rudd Government has buckled under pressure from the big supermarkets and abandoned its $13 million election promise to force grocery prices down. The joint might of Woolworths and Coles has successfully blocked the Grocery Choice scheme just six days before its scheduled launch next Wednesday – Sydney Morning Herald

Rudd dumps grocery website GroceryChoice – Brisbane Courier Mail

Election promise dumped as Grocery Choice goesThe Australian

Industrial relations

Union plan for return to pattern bargaining – The Australian

Ute gate

Turnbull was as shocked as everybody else – The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Liberals are fretting over what Godwin Grech may tell the police after the Treasury official was coughed up as the Coalition’s Treasury mole.

Ipswich Inc at heart of Utegate – The Australian looks at who’s who among the businessmen associates of the PM

The Rudd you never knew – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian looks at recent events and concludes that there now is a sense, as there wasn’t just two weeks ago, of an invincible government led by a ruthless politician.

Both parties agree Bulldogs fan Godwin Grech was out of his league – The Australian


Malcolm Turnbull’s job safe for now Sydney Daily Telegraph

Joe Hockey jockeying for position: MPs – The Australian

Political perks

Limousine bill by politicians a stretch at $2 million – Brisbane Courier Mail

$136,000 trip for Rees and entourage – Sydney Morning Herald

Foreign policy

Stop West Bank settlements, Julia Gillard urges – The Australian


Bond for going bush unfair, say doctors – Sydney Morning Herald

Killing highlights a system ‘in crisis’ – Victoria’s mental health system is in crisis, state coroner David Drake said yesterday while calling for sweeping changes in community care of the mentally ill – Melbourne Age



The incredible shrinking leader – how the Opposition Leader blew it – It began with high hopes for Malcolm Turnbull, and ended in despair. David Marr and Phillip Coorey report in the Sydney Morning Herald

A Turnbull in a china shop – Annabel Crabb in the Sydney Morning Herald writes how it’s just not Malcolm Turnbull’s nature to be cautious. But his ability to inflict damage on the Government is horribly damaged by the week’s events, meaning that a long and difficult climb lies between Turnbull and the sunlit political uplands he appeared to be inhabiting only a week ago.

Error of his ways – Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age writes how when Turnbull sets his mind on attaining a goal, he’s not used to letting anything stop him. But advancement through a political organisation draws on different skills than inter-party combat.

Brilliant and fearless but Paul Keating was right about Turnbull – He has no judgment.  Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald agrees.

Turnbull a victim of ambition – Laurie Oakes in the Sydney Daily Telegraph argues that the more Turnbull and Senator Eric Abetz refuse to talk about their role leading up to the hearing, the more culpable they look in this whole extraordinary affair.

Mud sticks but Swan floats above muck – writes Lenore Taylor in The Australian

Dumb and dumber as delinquent laws waste lives of young offenders – Adele Horin in the Sydney Morning Herald says that if there is anything dumber and sadder than juvenile delinquents, it’s a government that abandons reason and evidence to pursue a law-and-order crackdown against the young.

A New Niceness sweeps the country – and Malcolm Turnbull does not do “nice” writes Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald

Whetting the appetite with the absurd while farmers wonder where we’ll find our next meal – Tony Wright of the Melbourne Age goes to breakfast with some people from local governments to launch a campaign known as Water4Food.

Shopper website’s shelf life comes up – Jennifer Hewett in The Australian writes that Grocery Choice was always a silly stunt. It’s just taken a new minister for competition policy and consumer affairs to admit the obvious. Craig Emerson’s decision to kill off the program concedes the basic problem.

Reality hits PM as millions wasted – concludes Dennis Shanahan in The Australian on the passing of Grocery Choice

Old look for new IR regime – writes Ewin Hannan in The Australian

A wild ride that may not be over – Tim Colebatch in the Melbourne Age looks at the economic year ahead

Age of uncertainty – The world may be stimulating itself out of one economic disaster and into another, writes Stuart Washington in the Sydney Morning Herald



Michael Jackson

‘I miss my mate Jacko’ – The Northern Territory News finds a local angle to the world’s biggest story as a Darwin pharmacist recalls living with Michael Jckson for six weeks when aged 11 and assures us Michael was not a child molester.

Uncertainty surrounds Jackson estate – a scramble to discover the true state of his troubled finances. It leaves even his partners in the catalogue of copyrights that were his biggest asset uncertain of who will inherit his interest – Financial Times of London

East Timor

Timor PM facing calls to resign – Melbourne Age



Top four Australian banks top world’s ranking – The Australian

Canadian super fund sues Macquarie Group – The Australian

Caltex forecasts 50% profit surge – Sydney Morning Herald


Global warming

Wong backs Britain’s war on warming – Sydney Morning Herald

The Beach

Surf up, sand down as tides wash Manly Beach away – Sydney Morning Herald


MasterChef bakes tasty treat for Ten – David Dale in the Sydney Morning Herald writes how cooking is the new renovation. It’s also the new black, the new rock’n’roll, the new watercooler buzzword, the new evidence that Australians are cocooning and the new knife to the guts of Channel Nine, which was hoping it had been punished enough for decades of treating its viewers with contempt.


The drink

Science steps up to the bar – to look at how no study has ever proved a causal relationship between moderate drinking and lower risk of death, only that the two often go together. It may be that moderate drinking is just something healthy people tend to do, not something that makes people healthy – Melbourne Age

Clubs begin TV blitz to fight image of violence – as laws aimed at cutting alcohol-related violence come into effect – Sydney Morning Herald

The flu

Swine flu puts children in intensive care – Sydney Morning Herald

Swine flu lab slams ‘shoddy referrals’ – The Australian

Boat people

Boatload of 190 asylum seekers headed to Australia – Melbourne Herald Sun


Queensland cat registration scheme branded a bumbled effort – Brisbane Courier Mail

Child abuse

Rudd reform ‘won’t reduce child abuse’ – The Australian